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Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 732628, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/732628
Research Article

Dynamic Antenna Alignment Control in Microwave Air-Bridging for Sky-Net Mobile Communication Using Unmanned Flying Platform

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

Received 14 October 2014; Accepted 8 March 2015

Academic Editor: Sing Kiong Nguang

Copyright © 2015 Chin E. Lin and Ying-Chi Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents a preliminary study on establishing a mobile point-to-point (P2P) microwave air-bridging (MAB) between Unmanned Low Altitude Flying Platform (ULAFP) and backhaul telecommunication network. The proposed Sky-Net system relays telecom signal for general mobile cellphone users via ULAFP when natural disaster sweeps off Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs). Unlike the conventional fix point microwave bridging application, the ULAFP is cruising on a predefined mission flight path to cover a wider range of service. The difficulty and challenge fall on how to maintain antenna alignment accurately in order to provide the signal strength for MAB. A dual-axis rotation mechanism with embedded controller is designed and implemented on airborne and ground units for stabilizing airborne antenna and tracking the moving ULAFP. The MAB link is established in flight tests using the proposed antenna stabilizing/tracking mechanism with correlated control method. The result supports backbone technique of the Sky-Net mobile communication and verifies the feasibility of airborne e-Cell BTS.